Alumni for Excellence at Yale
Recent activities at Yale raise serious questions about the University’s future. It seems that not a month goes by without yet another negative report. As alumni, it gives us no pleasure to discuss these developments, but they are impossible to ignore. The uncomfortable truth is that Yale is falling behind its peers in many areas.
The 2019 FAS Senate Research and Scholarly Excellence Report revealed that “69 percent of tenured faculty members said they do not believe that their respective department ranks within the top five in their respective fields among institutions of higher education” and “just 1.8% said their department was the clear leader in its field.”
Faculty salaries lag behind peer institutions by 13%.
According to the FAS Senate, the administration has ignored these concerns.
Yale is the undisputed Ivy League heavyweight champion of bureaucracy, with 81.8 bureaucrats per 1,000 students (compared to, for example, 45.2 per 1,000 students at Harvard). In fact, Yale seems to be closing in on the national championship of bureaucracy: Out of 1,622 colleges and universities surveyed by The Chronicle of Higher Education, only four had more bureaucrats per student than Yale.
From 1995-96 to 2016-17, Yale's managerial and professional staff increased by 77.25%, compared to a 10.44% increase in service and maintenance staff.
Despite this vast bureaucracy, Yale was caught up in the recent national bribery scandal in admissions, indicating an embarrassing failure of oversight.
Yale’s alumni giving rate of 28.3% is lower than Stanford’s, lower than MIT’s, and lower than all but one of its Ivy League peers. (Yale Daily News, citing U.S. News & World Report)
In a recent survey of alumni leaders, 63% of those who expressed an opinion said that
alumni have become less enthusiastic about donating to Yale in recent years.
Yale seems increasingly hostile to freedom of speech, to unfettered inquiry, and to heterodox opinions.
Yale’s free speech policy, articulated in the Woodward Report in 1975, is first rate. But principles matter when they are tested, and the Woodward Report now seems to be a hollow promise. Following the embarrassments of 2015, Yale hardly seems committed to “the right to think the unthinkable, discuss the unmentionable, and challenge the unchallengeable.”
According to the Yale Daily News, 75% of students "believe Yale does not provide a welcoming environment for conservative students to share their opinions on political issues."
The cost of tuition, room, and board has soared to $72,100, more than doubling in less than twenty years and far outpacing inflation.
Where did this money go, if not to the University’s core academic mission? As other commitments consume ever larger amounts of the budget, investments in faculty, students, and academic pursuits are paying the price. This trajectory is unsustainable and a new direction is necessary.
One of the only ways that concerned alumni can set Yale on a better path forward is by electing the right trustees. Each year, alumni have the opportunity to participate in an election for the Yale Corporation. The candidates are put forward by the Alumni Fellow Nominating Committee, but there is also a process for getting a candidate on the ballot by petition.
Now is the time to elect a trustee who will champion excellence at Yale. For this reason, we nominate Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz PC ’92, LAW ’99 for the Yale Corporation. The Rosenkranz family’s exceptional support of Yale over the years is well-known, including Rosenkranz Hall, the Rosenkranz Writer-in-Residence, and Rosenkranz Court in Pierson College.
A professor at Georgetown Law, Nick teaches constitutional law and federal jurisdiction. His advocacy for higher education reform is a breath of fresh air. He is a leader in the fight for intellectual diversity, free expression, and robust, open discourse on campus. A founding member of Heterodox Academy, Nick serves on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Federalist Society. With Nick on the Alumni Fellow ballot, alumni would finally have a meaningful choice in the election.
What can you do to help? First, please submit your signature at this link. Second, please encourage your friends and classmates to do the same. Together, we can gather the required 4,266 alumni signatures by October 1st to put an independent voice on the ballot.
Yale can and must do better, and the responsibility rests in the hands of the Yale Corporation. Let’s work to restore the excellence that we all remember at Yale.